When first introduced in 1977, Grand Moff Tarkin was just the bad guy that dies at the end of Star Wars. Since then, he’s been included in other movies, TV shows, books, and even LEGO. While the few minifigure versions are certainly a great representation, none of them come close to displaying the true power of the Empire’s grandest Moff the same way as this sculpture by Brandon Griffith.
Standing tall as if the Tarkin Doctrine was a set of rules about posture and uniform, he appears as the ultimate example of loyalty to the Empire. The variety of parts used in this LEGO creation is about as varied as I would expect the fictional Grand Moff’s life to be: almost all plate, slope, and tile, with the odd variation like binoculars and a jumper to represent his code cylinders and belt. And while this model has been restricted to only a few colours, the resemblance is unmistakable. Even without different coloured eyes, the single studs make it easy to see the daggers he is certainly staring.
One of my favorite things is the intersection of LEGO and art. Brandon Griffith has similar feelings, as expressed in his description for his creation Coalesce, built for the LEGO booth at 2019’s Comic-Con. At first glance, I thought this was an 11×11 vignette of a gallery scene – the “exposed studs” along the top of the wall combined with the red, blue and purple “bricks” in perfect proportions. Looking closer, though, you recognize the minifigures and your sense of scale has a dramatic zoom out. Almost as an afterthought, you can spot a lime green “1×1 brick” oozing in the corner, and notice that the gaps in the wall look like brick cut-outs.
Complimenting the excellent craftsmanship is the inclusive theme of the piece as a whole. To coalesce is to “come together”; the combining of red and blue stripes into a new purple element invites the viewer to think about not only color theory and LEGO building but more complex issues in the unification of different ideas and concepts.
And how’s this for interactivity? Brandon invites anyone lucky enough to attend Comic-Con 2019 to stop by the LEGO booth and pose a figure on the model!
All of this has happened before and will happen again – While there have been many worthy builders to attempt both the classic, modern, and “inspired-by” incarnations of the famed sci-fi vessel Battlestar Galactica at a variety of scales the latest iteration is a wondrous thing of beauty. Brandon Griffith‘s labor of love is 47 inches (1.2 meters) long and took almost 300 hours to build. It debuted this past weekend at BrickCon 2018 in Seattle.
Fire up your FTL drive and click through for more photos